2019 Eco-Justice Workshops

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“Climate Justice = Just Energy 4 All” 

Fossil fuel energy is the single largest contributor to climate change that is leading to devastation around the world and in the US that is disproportionately impacting marginalized communities. Fossil fuel energy, from coal, oil and natural gas, is currently the world’s primary source of energy. To counter climate change, drastic measures must be taken to move our energy source and use from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy. The change to a green energy economy must go hand in hand with a just and equitable transition, not on the backs of Indigenous Peoples, communities of color, or politically or financially marginalized communities. Join this workshop to learn about what just energy is and is not, the efforts that are taking place throughout the US and how you and your communities of faith can be involved.

Workshop leaders:

  • Elizabeth Chun Hye Lee (Executive, Economic and Environmental Justice and Climate Justice Lead, United Methodist Women)
  • Jacqueline Patterson (Sr. Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP)
  • Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Esq. (Senior Director, Access & Equity Program, VoteSolar)

Facilitating a Just Transition toward Water Justice, Energy Equality, and a Better Civic Engagement

Reaching 100% renewable energy is a critical factor in obtaining a zero-carbon society and staying below 1.5oC . But all sectors and industries must transition. Transitioning must be well planned to avoid unintended consequences.  There must be an understanding of all factors associated with the local economy and downstream supply chain impacts. The transition must  not trample upon the human rights of indigenous people or other vulnerable communities or degrade ecosystems.  It must address the livelihood of all people, ensuring a positive future in renewable energy or other sectors for those in the fossil fuel dependent jobs. It must improves the economic opportunities, health and social wellbeing for all. 

Workshop Leaders:  Ruth Ivory-Moore (Program Director, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility) Annika Harley, Shantha Ready Alonso (Creation Justice Ministries)

Water is Life: Learnings from Indigenous Movements

We will explore how indigenous communities in the U.S. and around the world are building movements to protect their water, land and way of life from extractive industries. We also will learn about opportunities for people of faith to join in solidarity with these human rights and environmental defenders.

Panelists: Human rights defender Jose Armando from La Puya, Guatemala; The Rev. Dr. Bradley Hauff, Missioner for Indigenous Ministries for the Episcopal Church; Mr. Forrest Cuch, a Ute tribal member from Whiterocks, Utah

Moderator: Marianne Comfort of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Eco-Feminism/Eco-Womanism: Troubling the Theological Waters of Patriarchy and Anthropocentrism

What new theologies are needed to respond to a world facing catastrophic climate change, rampant sexism and racism, and increasing isolation and despair?  How are the theologies and traditions we’ve inherited in Christianity – specifically those rooted in patriarchy and anthropocentrism – actually supporting and perpetuating the systemic oppression we see and experience daily?  What wisdom and hope does eco-feminism and eco-womanism have to offer us as theological resources in our work to honor the interconnectedness of all life and promote the health and well-being of the whole?  This workshop will explore these questions and encourage participants to examine their own theological belief systems and how eco-feminism and eco-womanism can help support our faith based work for creation justice. 

Workshop Presenter:  Jennifer Reyes Lay (Board Member of Creation Justice Ministries and Administrator of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion)

Climate Justice for the Global South

As a result of climate change, many communities in the Global South are facing rising sea levels, extreme weather, flooding and prolonged droughts. These, in turn, contribute to conflict, migration and food shortages. Vulnerable populations, including women and children, are disproportionately feeling these impacts. How is civil society, including faith communities, in the Global South mobilizing to call for climate justice? What is the responsibility and response of the United States and the international community to address the unique challenges the Global South faces from climate change? 

Panelists:

  • Kristen Hite, Oxfam
  • Osvaldo Jordan, Panama Human Rights Network
  • Paul Miller, Lutheran World Relief.

Moderator: Chloe Noël, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

The Devastating Environmental Impacts of Border Walls

Construction of border fences and walls had largely ceased at the end of 2008, leaving more than 600 miles of fences and walls along the U.S.-Mexico border, much of it cutting through public lands. Construction has begun again in earnest with more than $3 billion in federal funding since 2017—enough to construct over 100 miles of new border walls. There is also a looming threat of $6.7 billion more in funding with an emergency declaration and potential transfer of funds, which could lead to another 200+ miles of barriers. Dozens of laws that protect the environment, public health, and sacred lands are being waived to speed construction. The impacts are devastating for wildlife, tourism, local landowners and, potentially, for indigenous communities along the border.

Panelists: Tammy Alexander, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., and Raul Garcia, Earthjustice; Moderator: Becca Eastwood, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Contributing Sponsors & Partner Organizations